In today’s world, raising a child in an understanding of God’s love for them and in knowledge of the faith is a difficult undertaking. When a child is baptized, parents commit themselves to being the best possible teachers of the faith and Christian role models. Those person’s chosen for the honor of being a Godparent, have a very particular role in assisting the parents in these responsibilities.
Yes, in choosing a Godparent you will normally look first to family members and special friends but it is important to also consider the responsibilities you will be asking them to assume. Those chosen for the “honor” of being your child’s Godparents are to be selected with care. They are to be people who you know will support you in raising your child in the faith and will be good examples of what it means to live the Christian life. As part of the Baptismal ceremony, Godparents are asked to reaffirm their own baptismal faith and to promise to support the parents in raising the child in the faith.
Godparents are to be Roman Catholics sixteen years or older who have been baptized and confirmed and have received the Eucharist.
Godparents live a life in harmony with the faith and strive to actively live out their commitment to Christ and to participate in the worshipping community of the Church.
Godparents are ready and able to take on the responsibility of supporting and teaching their Godchild through prayer and example how to live the Christian faith.
Only one Godparent is required. If two are chosen, they must be a man and a woman. It is not permissible to have two Godmothers or two Godfathers.
A baptized and confirmed practicing Christian who is not a Catholic may not serve as a Godparent but may be a “Christian Witness” in addition to the Catholic Godparent. The Christian witness should be a committed member of his or her church and be able to exemplify and teach Christian values to your child.
Keep in mind that the role of the Godparent is to be a teacher and model of practicing faith. A person of another religion such as Judaism or Islam or of no religion is not able to do this and therefore cannot serve in this role. In addition, Godparents make a profession of Christian faith at the Baptism ceremony. It would be a violation of their beliefs to ask persons of another religion or no religion to do this. Please remember this is not a judgment on their personal integrity or goodness as a person.
If a Godparent is unable to be present at the baptism ceremony, a proxy may be appointed to stand in for them. The proxy should be able to meet all the qualifications required of the Godparent or Christian witness. The name of the proxy should be given to the Baptism Minister and included on the Baptism registration Form.
Recognizing the importance of this role, you are asked to choose wisely. Take time to prayerfully reflect on who will best fulfill the responsibilities of a Godparent. Once the baptism is celebrated and the Godparent’s names are recorded in the Baptismal registry, they cannot be changed.
If you have further questions, please call the Baptismal phone line 516 785 2333 ext 217 and someone from the Baptism Team will return your call.